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Business Intelligence Social Progress Index analyzing the quality of life and social wellbeing: for the first time, the majority of world countries registered stagnation or even decline. Romania follows the trend

Social Progress Index analyzing the quality of life and social wellbeing: for the first time, the majority of world countries registered stagnation or even decline. Romania follows the trend

by Deloitte Romania March 27, 2024

After steady improvement in terms of social progress over more than a decade, the global quality of life and wellbeing stagnated in 2023, according to the latest edition of the Social Progress Index ranking, which assesses the quality of life and social wellbeing of 170 countries and is conducted by the non-profit organization Social Progress Imperative with the support of Deloitte. Over time, the world has improved in terms of social progress from 58.34 in 2011, when the study was conducted for the first time, to 63.44 at the end of 2023, but this is almost flat compared to 2022’s index of 63.75, as the majority of world countries registered stagnation or even decline last year, the study shows. Romania followed the trend and advanced from an index of 71.52 in 2011, to 75.24 in 2023, which is also slightly lower than the previous year’s 76.89. Thus, our country ranks 44th among the 170 analyzed states and remains in the second category of the ranking, after Argentina, Barbados and Bulgaria. The study includes six categories of countries, and Romania has advanced the second one in 2022.

The Social Progress Index (SPI) measures the quality of life and social wellbeing of citizens from 170 countries, based on the analysis of three main dimensions. The methodology consists of assigning a score for basic needs category items - nutrition and medical care, water and sanitation, housing and safety -, for wellbeing category items - basic education, information and communications, health and environmental quality - and for opportunities category – rights and voice, freedom and choice, inclusive society and advanced education. Based on the score, the countries in the ranking are grouped into six categories arranged in descending order.

“This latest edition of the report unfortunately confirms the previous edition’s predictions and shows that, in 2023, the global social progress index paused its increase for the first time since the analysis has been published. Amid challenges deriving from economic instability, geopolitical tensions and climate change, more than three quarters of the assessed countries, which corresponds to four out of five people in the world, saw stagnation or even decline in their social progress, driven mainly by two of the analyzed dimensions - access to advanced education and environmental quality. It is important to remember that this analysis focuses on non-economic dimensions, which shows that, while the global GDP per capita has grown, the world has yet to transfer this evolution into concrete benefits that people can feel in everyday life. Deloitte studies explain that foreign direct investment, economic growth and social progress are interdependent and create a virtuous circle only if additional steps are also taken, such as facilitating and strategically directing the investment flow to certain industries and regions. Our country followed the same trend - it registered one of the highest EU growth paces in GDP per capita over the past decade, but is still marked by development differences between the urban and the rural areas and also among the regions,” said Alexandru Reff, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Romania and Moldova.

In 2023, Romania ranked 46th in the world on the basic needs dimension, 49th in the wellbeing category and 46th in the opportunities dimension. Analyzing the values assigned for each of the coordinates falling into these three categories, our country best scores in nutrition and medical care (28th place), followed by housing (43rd place), safety (45th place) and information and communications (46th place). On the other hand, coordinates recording the lower scores include inclusive society (71st place) and water and sanitation (67th place).

Denmark ranks first in the world, with a score of 90.38

  • In 2023, Denmark (1), Norway (2) and Finland (3) occupy the first places in the ranking, while Chad, Central African Republic and South Sudan are on the last positions.
  • All EU member states are in the first two tiers, with Denmark, Norway and Finland being the best performers.
  • Only three countries of the G7 – Germany (10), Canada (15) and Japan (16) - made it into the first category of the ranking.
  • Among the Central and Eastern European countries, the best place is occupied by Estonia (18), followed by the Czech Republic (19), Slovenia (20), Lithuania (31), Latvia (32), Croatia (33), Slovakia (35), Poland (36), Hungary (40), Bulgaria (43) and Romania (44).

Overview in index changes between 2011 and 2023

Since 2011, the world has improved in terms of social progress, however in 2023, for the first time, the quality of life and wellbeing declined to 63.44 from 63.75 in 2022.

  • Since 2011, four counties registered a decline in terms of social progress, namely Venezuela (-6.18), Syria (-4.22), the United States (-1.40) and the UK (- 0.39).
  • In the last 12 years, the world score has improved in 11 out of 12 components, with the biggest gains in information and communications (+19.55), housing (+8.70) and water and sanitation (+7.71).
  • On the other hand, since 2011, the world has gone backwards in rights and voice (-6.49).

The global results of the 2024 Social Progress Index are available here, together with the detailed results for Romania.

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit and assurance, tax and legal, consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory services to nearly 90% of the Fortune Global 500® and thousands of private companies. The firm’s professionals deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in capital markets, enable clients to transform and thrive, and lead the way toward a stronger economy, a more equitable society and a sustainable world. Building on its 175-plus year history, Deloitte spans more than 150 countries and territories. Its objective is to make an impact that matters through its 457,000 people worldwide.

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© 2024. For information, contact Deloitte Romania

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